Gladiators Head Coach and General Manager of Hockey Operations Andy Brandt announced today that the Gladiators have signed a two-year affiliation agreement with the Boston Bruins of the NHL.
“We are very excited to be affiliated with the Boston organization and look forward to working under their umbrella,” said Brandt. “To be able to align ourselves with such a historical and successful team, not to mention a member of ’The Original Six’, is something we are very proud of and take very seriously.”
The Bruins become the sixth NHL team to affiliate with the Gladiators over the course of their twelve seasons in the Metro Atlanta community, joining the Atlanta Thrashers, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. In a partnership that began with the 2011-2012 season, the Gladiators most recently were affiliated with the Coyotes, along with their AHL Affiliate, the Portland Pirates.
“The Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins are very excited to be forging a new development affiliation with the Gladiators,” said Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney. “Working with a proud franchise and being a part of the passionate fans in the Duluth community will provide a tremendous opportunity for our young players to continue to grow and help them to reach their full potential as professional hockey players.”
With an emphasis on player development, the Gladiators will serve as the sole Boston ECHL affiliate, and will also work with the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
“Throughout the summer our conversations with the Bruins organization have been positive,” said Brandt. “As we began to discuss the topics that are involved in a partnership, it became clear that we have a lot of similarities. Their thoughts on things like the importance of developing players and the importance of communication between the organizations are what drove our decision to affiliate with Boston.”
“We’ll be working together to recruit and sign the right players,” added Brandt. “So as hard as it is to forecast what we’ll receive from Boston at this point, I know quality prospects will be assigned to the Gladiators. The chance to work with and develop those incoming players is something I’m very much looking forward to.”